Representative Jim Sensenbrenner, who introduced the PATRIOT Act on the House floor in 2001, has declared that lawmakers’ and the executive branch’s excuses about recent revelations of NSA activity are “a bunch of bunk.”
In an interview on Laura Ingraham’s radio show Wednesday morning, the Republican congressman from Wisconsin reiterated his concerns that the administration and the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court have gone far beyond what the PATRIOT Act intended. Specifically, he said that Section 215 of the act “was originally drafted to prevent data mining” on the scale that’s occurred.
Sensenbrenner, the current chairman on the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations, suggested that the secret nature of the FISA court has prevented appropriate congressional oversight over the NSA’s activities.
When asked whether he agreed with those in Washington calling leaker Edward Snowden a traitor, Sensenbrenner responded, “No, I don’t agree,” and said that he would not have known the extent of abuse by the FISA court and the NSA without Snowden’s disclosures.
The congressman has earlier said he believes the PATRIOT Act needs to be amended to protect Americans’ privacy.
What is Section 215?
Section 215 allows the FBI to order any person or entity to turn over "any tangible things," so long as the FBI "specif[ies]" that the order is "for an authorized investigation . . . to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities."
Section 215 vastly expands the FBI's power to spy on ordinary people living in the United States, including United States citizens and permanent residents.
The FBI need not show probable cause, nor even reasonable grounds to believe, that the person whose records it seeks is engaged in criminal activity.
The FBI need not have any suspicion that the subject of the investigation is a foreign power or agent of a foreign power.
The FBI can investigate United States persons based in part on their exercise of First Amendment rights, and it can investigate non-United States persons based solely on their exercise of First Amendment rights.
For example, the FBI could spy on a person because they don't like the books she reads, or because they don't like the web sites she visits. They could spy on her because she wrote a letter to the editor that criticized government policy.
Those served with Section 215 orders are prohibited from disclosing the fact to anyone else. Those who are the subjects of the surveillance are never notified that their privacy has been compromised.
If the government had been keeping track of what books a person had been reading, or what web sites she had been visiting, the person would never know.
This Constitution is said to have beautiful features; but when I come to examine these features, sir, they appear to me horribly frightful. Among other deformities, it has an awful squinting; it squints toward monarchy, and does not this raise indignation in the breast of every true American? Your president may easily become king. Your Senate is so imperfectly constructed that your dearest rights may be sacrificed to what may be a small minority; and a very small minority may continue for ever unchangeably this government, altho horridly defective. Where are your checks in this government? Your strongholds will be in the hands of your enemies. It is on a supposition that your American governors shall be honest that all the good qualities of this government are founded; but its defective and imperfect construction puts it in their power to perpetrate the worst of mischiefs should they be bad men; and, sir, would not all the world, blame our distracted folly in resting our rights upon the contingency of our rulers being good or bad? Show me that age and country where the rights and liberties of the people were placed on the sole chance of their rulers being good men without a consequent loss of liberty! I say that the loss of that dearest privilege has ever followed, with absolute certainty, every such mad attempt.
Originally posted by ShadellacZumbrum
reply to post by CIAGypsy
I think his statements are Bunk.
He knew what he was producing when he contrived and drafted the Patriot Act. He knew what it was for.
A Legal way to Override Existing Laws without the Need for an Executive Order.
I think maybe his conscience is getting to him and he is trying to find a way to renounce his actions.
Data Mining . ? That is the first time I have heard that line.
If that is the case then why in the Hell was it created directly after 9/11? Was there any Data in the World Trade Centers?
Man that makes me mad as hell.
Data Mining? . .. Terrorists Don't have a Need to Mine Data.
Holy Hell my B.S. Meter is at its MAX. Go Figure.edit on 12-6-2013 by ShadellacZumbrum because: (no reason given)
Originally posted by CIAGypsy
This scandal has deeply divided citizens, companies, and the government itself. I've lost the respect of several colleagues because I do not support the blanket data mining. I fight terrorism every day and firmly believe there are ways to accomplish a task without trampling on our basic Constitutional rights. Unfortunately, some of colleagues disagree....
Originally posted by gladtobehere
reply to post by CIAGypsy
I hate this guy, what a complete jerk.
"Not what it was intended", my butt.
See, its ok to break the law but only if...
Originally posted by xavi1000
Jim Sensenbrenner will remembered as a author of the probably most worst Acts(bill) in US history .